If you’re one of the many people who have graduated college with and now on the way up the career ladder you know that it is far from a dream life. Life is a constant battle to pay off those student loans as well as all your other living expenses. Your degree might get you through the door into your dream industry but you are likely to be starting at the bottom so that six-figure salary is a long way off. So how do you progress in your career and get the money you need to pay off your student loan debts? Check out these top 20 side jobs so that you can earn a bit of extra money to cover those student loans and make headway.
Good Returns, Basic Skill Requirements
1. Rent Out Your Space
There are some great sites offering you the opportunity to rent out space to travelers and start saving money to pay off your student loan. Airbnb is among the most flexible where you can rent anything from a crashpad on the sofa to your whole home. Homeaway and VRBO are two other great places to rent out your space but make sure you check if it’s legal in your city first.
2. Got a Car? You’ve Got Two $$$ Options
If you’ve got a car you can sign up to Lyft or Uber and become your own taxi service. There a massive pros to this as you can make up to $35 per hour! You also need to understand the risks of picking up strangers and meet the requirements but if you’re happy with this, you can start earning money right now to pay off your student loan debts.
If you don’t want to drive people around but you have a car, you can still make money by signing up to RelayRides. Here, it’s your car you rent out for other people to drive.
3. Personal Assistant and Gofer Work
Sign up to TaskRabbit and earn money by helping people with their household and day-to-day errands. Job postings include anything from cleaning, furniture assembly and handyman jobs. It’s really flexible so you can fit the extra work into your schedule and start earning some money to put towards paying back your student loan.
4. Sell Your Stuff
Got a load of stuff you don’t want anymore? Ever heard of the saying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Well put it to the test and clean out your stuff you haven’t used for a whole. There are loads of ways you can sell your old junk to make money to put towards reducing your student loans:
- Traditional yard sale
- Ebay and Craigslist
- Textbooks, Amazon and Chegg
- Gazelle (for your tech)
Small Returns, Basic Skills
Fiverr has one simple ethos: offer a task you can do for $5. There are hundreds of categories to choose from and you can be sure that you meet the skillsets required because you’re in charge of what you offer.
6. Surveys and Focus Groups
Focus Groups can end up compensating quite well but surveys offer much smaller amounts. The benefits are that there a hundreds to sign up to. You can find out more through FindFocusGroups.com and 20120 Panel. Make sure you check the company is legit and never pay to sign up.
7. Search Online
This is a really simple trick to start earning extra cash to pay off your student loan by simply doing what you do every day. If you use BingRewards or Swagbucks as your search engines you can earn money just by searching online!
8. Earn With Your Bank or Credit Card
Making extra money to help pay off your student loan could be as simple as swapping your bank account and credit cards. Lots of banks offer sign-up bonuses and credit cards offer cashback rewards. You can also get cashback toward loans through Ebates and Upromise.
9. Get ‘Appy’
A really smart and simple way to generate extra income to pay off your student load in to sign up to income-generating apps. Some require absolutely nothing from you in terms of time. For example, Nielson Mobile Panel just runs in the background of your phone collecting data. InboxDollars and WeReward require minimum effort like doing surveys, watching videos and taking local photos for which you are compensated. For a little bit more effort, FieldAgent and Gigwalk offer up local gigs that take anything from a couple of minutes to a few hours and pay ranges from $2-100!
Good Returns, Intermediate Skills
At least 50% of my friends have an arts and crafts skill but only one of them makes any use from it by selling her wares on Etsy. She makes ‘dolly beds’ out of gorgeous fabrics and sells them for $15 each, making $10 an item after costs! There’s so many areas of expertise from woodwork to dressmaking as well as re-selling vintage and antique items.
11. Farmers and Food Markets
Do you have a degree in Food Technology or culinary skills? You could sell your products at local farmers and food markets to make money to help pay off your student loan. You need to check your state’s regulations on selling food but many areas just require a health and safety inspection.
12. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Great if your degree was in veterinary or animal care plus you can get more experience for your CV which might increase your chances of promotion. Pet sitting can generate lots of extra income depending on how much time you have available and what services you can provide meaning that you could be on your way to clearing your student loan in a few years. Check out Petsitter.com, Care.com, Petsitters.org for information.
For anyone who studied education or childcare related subjects, this is perfect. Not only are you using your skill set but you are also developing them further by getting extra experience. Plus you can make extra money that will help to reduce that big, bad student loan even further! Take a look at SitterCity or Care.com for childcare opportunities in your area. Additionally, take a look at NannyInTheClouds if you’re a frequent flyer. Parents pay for travel assistance!
Many people have skills and knowledge that can translate into a freelance job. Most jobs in the freelance world involve writing. You’re also expected to put in a bit of groundwork by pitching ideas or bidding for jobs. Some roles can be highly competitive and rates of pay vary substantially. However, if you do great work for your clients and are professional, chances are your rates will go up and you’ll get hired more regularly. Check out Upwork (who have now taken over ODesk and Elance), Craigslist and JournalismJobs for listings.
Small Returns, Intermediate Skills
15. Start a Blog
Whilst a select few make a great income out of blogging, many make nothing. However, if you’re a keen writer or hope to start your own business one day, writing a blog is a great way to get publicity. It’s free to start one of Blogger or WordPress so there’s nothing to lose. And who knows, you might be one of those special few that make enough money to pay off your student loans too!
16. Sell Your Photos
Buddy photographers will love this job. You can build an online portfolio to get exposure for your work and earn extra money to put towards your student loan. There are loads of sites you can get started on like Fotolia, Phototrade, Crestock, BigStockPhoto and iStockPhoto.
17. House Sitting
House sitting is not generally well paid where there are no pets to take care of but if you’re smart, you could turn it into a money-earning opportunity. For instance, if you’re signed up to Airbnb, you could house sit for others while your renting out your space. You get a mini vacation and you get to make extra money to pay off your student loan – result!
Good Returns, Advanced Skills
If you have a Masters Degree or are embarking on PhD study, you meet the minimum requirements for teaching at college-level courses. Apply directly to the academic departments that best meet your subject area and start making extra money to pay off your student loan.
19. Tutoring and Lessons
If you don’t have a Masters but have expert knowledge you might be able to give lessons or provide tutoring to earn extra money to pay off your student loan. Academic subjects for test prep like the ACT and SAT exams are always sought after. If you’re a musician, sportsperson, craft-maker or tech expert you could also teach lessons.
Translation is a highly skilled but very well paid way to earn extra money to help you pay off your student loan. You need specific advanced language skills such as a degree in one or more foreign languages or be fluent in a second language. You can find jobs using freelance platforms like Upwork but more traditional forums like Indeed, Monster and CareerBuilder also offer opportunities.